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Why old cats lose weight: Sewell, NJ Cat Owners: Why Is My Cat Losing Weight But Still Eating?

These viruses have different causes and possible therapies, but weight loss is a common symptom of all three.

David Stewart
Saturday, December 30, 2017
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  • Cats are special creatures, and many things can lead to weight loss, even if your cat is still a good eater, and several causes are listed below. Cancer Cancer is a leading cause of death in older cats.

  • They will take a thorough history and do a complete physical exam.

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  • They take long naps, lay out in sunny areas and curl up in blankets for large portions of the day. Antibiotic treatment with metronidazole or tylosin is often impractical in cats, so when aggressive treatment is needed glucocorticoid therapy with prednisolone is recommended.

  • It has been recognized for many years that both protein and fat digestibility decrease in many apparently normal cats after 10 years of age. Proc Nutr Soc ;

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Home Cat Diseases A Z. It is always vital that your cat be seen by a professional for any apparent illness or malady. Overall, while obesity tends to be the predominant body-mass concern in cats between 7 and 12 years of age, in those older than 12 years, obesity is rare and being underweight is a far greater life-threatening risk factor Table 1 and Figure 6. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on November 8, by Dr. Careful observation of stool characteristics may provide some evidence of improved digestibility, especially if grossly apparent abnormalities were present at the outset.

If you notice that your cat is still eating well, but losing weight, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, as these symptoms may have an underlying medical cause. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Even histologic examination of intestinal why old cats lose weight specimens may not provide evidence of a conclusive diagnosis; lesions may be patchy and interpretation of biopsy findings is inherently subjective. In the same cat, an intraoral bisecting angle dental radiograph of the left maxilla shows an unsuspected extensive tooth resorption at the cementoenamel junction of the distal left maxillary canine tooth a. Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease IBDexocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Call Now Button. If your cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you and your veterinarian will go over several treatments options and possible dietary changes.

Your vet should have a documented weight weigth the last visit and can confirm the weight loss. Other health problems such as hyperthyroidism excessive production of the thyroid hormonesand hypertension high blood pressure are often results of kidney failure. In some cats, despite a thorough investigation, it is not possible to confirm enteropathy. Figure 4. CRF Chronic Renal Failure or, simply put, kidney failure, is the most severe of the possible conditions afflicting the feline kidneys.

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Q: We have a year-old cat that has been losing weight for a few weeks now. The prevalence of hypocobalaminaemia in cats with spontaneous hyperthyroidism. About the Author: Southwest Vet Austin.

Treatment may include prescription food, medicine and even sterile fluids that your vet can teach you to administer at home weihht a regular basis. Figure 1B. Here are some possible reasons why your cat is losing weight and what you should do about it. The prevalence of hypocobalaminaemia in cats with spontaneous hyperthyroidism. References 1. Many different forms of cancer can cause weight loss. Make the appointment now.

None of the tests for this enteropathy is perfect, so if no other explanation for the weight loss can wight found a presumptive diagnosis of ICE is reasonable. Go to Top. Hyperthyroidism occurs most often in older cats, and the symptoms usually include weight loss coupled with a voracious appetite. Exercise is important throughout your cat's life, and moderate exercise remains important into advanced old age. Up Next Keeping Assassin Snails BeChewy explores the details of keeping Assassin Snails as pets, from feeding and breeding to the kind of care they require. If low serum cobalamin, folate or tocopherol were detected, supplementation with vitamin E and other antioxidants may be beneficial.

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Protein-losing enteropathy commonly co-exists with high fecal fat output in geriatric cats with idiopathic malabsorption and persists following correction of why old cats lose weight serum cobalamin concentration. Weight loss in older cats is often readily attributed to chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentration was increased in 11 of 15 geriatric cats with idiopathic chronic enteropathy, indicating active protein-losing enteropathy in addition to the previously recognized nutrient malabsorption.

A cautious, conservative approach is warranted. Dietary changes and supplements would certainly be the safest and most easily administered interventions. Whatever the explanation for weight loss and decline in nutrient digestibility in older cats, progressive decline in body weight has been ccats in the two years before death from a variety of seemingly unrelated diseases. Skinny old cats : Why some senior cats lose weight. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located in the throat. What is known about common age-related changes in cats and what may be done to halt or reverse the decline in body weight that is apparently a predictable prelude to death. Weight loss in older cats is often readily attributed to chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems.

  • If you think your cat is suffering from GI issues, consult with your veterinarian about getting a diagnosis and treatment.

  • Sudden, unintentional weight loss in cats is usually indicative of a larger problem that requires the assistance of a cat vet in Alexandria, VA to diagnose.

  • You need to take your cat to your vet and have some blood tests performed, as well as a good physical exam.

  • Figure 1B. Arthritis or anal-gland problems can cause pain during defecation, so your cat might avoid eliminating for as long as possible.

  • Percentage of cats with low fat digestibility by age pooled data from four colonies. Antibiotic treatment with metronidazole or tylosin is often impractical in cats, so when aggressive treatment is needed glucocorticoid therapy with prednisolone is recommended.

Some nutritional aspects of aging cats and dogs. Why old cats lose weight feline kidneys will go through a number of age related changes; some of these changes may compromise the function of the kidneys, contributing to the onset of a variety of different conditions affecting the kidneys. Featured Image: iStock. If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis. Pregnant mothers can give their kittens parasites, and they can also pass parasites through their milk when they are nursing.

Constipation can signal serious disease, so if your cat isn't eliminating properly for more weighh a day lose weight so, see your vet. Lymphoma, the most common cancer, is often responsive to chemotherapy. If you're not sure talk to your vet. You can encourage your senior feline to move around in a number of ways. Adjusting the fat content of the diet does not appear to be particularly useful in treating feline enteropathies. Nutrient digestibility The cause or causes of this decline in nutrient digestibility remain unknown but presumably reflect enteropathy of some type.

What Can I Do for My Underweight Cat?

As a cat ages his sense of both taste and smell may diminish making it less acute, therefore making him less interested in food. Once identified, most health problems can be treated or cured. Furthermore, all abnormalities detected should be treated concurrently to optimize clinical response to treatment.

  • Hissss Never give your cat any medication unless you are specifically instructed to do so by a veterinarian. Some medications are lethal for cats even in small doses.

  • Unintentional weight loss is a nonspecific sign that can have many causes. Weight loss is often a sign of cancer, however, cancer symptoms vary depending on the organ afflicted by the disease.

  • Hissss Never give your cat any medication unless you are specifically instructed to do so by a veterinarian.

  • Small focal areas of inflammation are apparent on the left maxillary 3rd premolar b and the left mandibular 4th premolar c. Dog Tumor Removal.

Here are some possible reasons why your cat is losing weight and what you should do about it. Weight loss is often a sign of cancer, however, cancer weigbt vary depending on nicotine organ afflicted by the disease. When a cat becomes hyperthyroid, their metabolism goes into overdrive—they lose weight, are ravenously hungry all of the time, have a very high heart rate, and often meow at night and have trouble sleeping. Skinny old cats : Why some senior cats lose weight. All rights reserved. They will be able to run the necessary tests to determine what might be at the root of the problem. Do you have another cat or dog in the house?

Find information on buying and caring for a cat. Submit A Story. If you think your cat is suffering from GI issues, consult with your veterinarian about getting a diagnosis and treatment. Related posts. If your cat is a hunter, or routinely hunts small rodents or rabbits, she may be exposed to GI parasites such as roundworms and tapeworms. Regardless of the precise cause or causes, weight loss in otherwise healthy older cats and changes in fecal characteristics should be investigated, as should malabsorption.

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J Vet Intern Med ; Fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentration was increased in 11 of 15 geriatric cats with idiopathic chronic enteropathy, indicating active protein-losing enteropathy in addition to the previously recognized nutrient malabsorption. Cats are somewhat lethargic creatures. All rights reserved.

Subtle weight loss may not even be noted unless careful records of body weight and body condition scores are kept over repeated veterinary examinations. It is perhaps not surprising that these changes were correlated with several other measures of health or well-being, including serum vitamin E tocopherolvitamin B12 cobalaminskin thickness, body fat, and body condition score. A cautious, conservative approach is warranted. Your cat could be experiencing pain from arthritis that is making it difficult to jump up to where the food dish is. The incidence of low fat and protein digestibility tends to occur in the same cats. In some cats, despite a thorough investigation, it is not possible to confirm enteropathy.

The body acts as if it is starving, despite a normal appetite. Previous Next. Weight loss in the elderly cat. Evaluation of fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentrations in cats with idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease and cats with gastrointestinal neoplasia.

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Weight loss in the elderly wegiht. The body acts as if it is starving, despite a normal appetite. Tooth resorption of the left maxillary canine a and 3rd premolar in a cat b. Determination of fecal fat by percentage would be desirable and may be the only way to confirm an intestinal problem in some patients. A presumptive diagnosis of idiopathic enteropathy is the best that can be achieved.

Intestinal parasites and worms interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the GI tract, and can cause weight loss. Massage stimulates circulation, helping joints and muscles remain flexible, and many aging cats enjoy the stimulation and contact. Figure 5. It has been recognized for many years that both protein and fat digestibility decrease in many apparently normal cats after 10 years of age. Cats tend to lose the ability to digest and absorb fat as they grow old. If your cat is unable to exercise regularly, you might be able to make her more comfortable by gently flexing and massaging her joints and muscles every day. Related Posts.

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Based on those findings, your vet might recommend a fecal exam to check for intestinal parasites, and bloodwork to check for clues to get to the bottom of what is causing the weight loss. A change in diet, or simply changing to a new flavor of your cat's current food may help to peek his interest. Other health problems such as hyperthyroidism excessive production of the thyroid hormonesand hypertension high blood pressure are often results of kidney failure. It is important to monitor your senior cat's weight, as even the slightest change in weight can be significant. Annu Rev Nutr ; A regiment of specially prescribed food, medication and fluids may be necessary to help care for your sick cat.

Gastrointestinal Changes Cats tend to lose the ability to digest and absorb fat as they grow old. Early detection makes it easier ,ose us to treat a disease before it becomes serious, and is usually much less expensive to do so. Many affected cats show few if any signs that may be considered suggestive of pancreatitis e. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Gastrointestinal cancer is a little more difficult to diagnose, requiring more advanced diagnostics such as abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy or surgery.

Dental Disease Can Make Eating Painful

He is doing the same things he used to do drinking the same amount of water, going potty in his cat litter boxplaying with our other cat, etc. Some medications are lethal for cats even in small doses. Weight loss despite a normal or exceptionally good appetite is often a sign of illness, the most common one being hyperthyroidism. For the most up to date hospital announcements please visit our news link and call us at if you have any questions. Thorough physical examination, routine complete blood count, serum chemistry profile, urinalysis, and fecal examination are all indicated, as are radiographic and ultrasonographic evaluations as appropriate.

Sponsored by Purina Veterinary Diets. Figure 4. Skinny old cats : Why some senior cats lose weight. Figure 1A.

Is the food dish up high on a counter? As cats age their chances of cancer increase. Get our newsletters. Evidence indicates that, in these older cats with no apparent classic diseases to explain the weight loss, there is an age-related decline in food digestibility.

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Williams recommends a low-carbohydrate diet initially. You can encourage your senior feline to move around in a number of ways. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page.

Go to Top. Hissss Never give your cat any medication unless you are specifically instructed to do so cxts a veterinarian. The decline in intestinal function and associated weight loss begins as soon as 8 years of age in some cats. Figure 6. Hyperthyroid cats can eat, and eat, and eat and still lose weight.

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A presumptive diagnosis of idiopathic enteropathy is the best that can be achieved. Weight loss in the elderly cat. Your veterinarian can help you determine if there are obstacles in your home that are preventing your cat from getting enough food. They take long naps, lay out in sunny areas and curl up in blankets for large portions of the day. Only when these are also appropriately treated do the cats return to optimal health. They will take a thorough history and do a complete physical exam. Senior care guidelines.

Chronic enteric protein loss can contribute why old cats lose weight gradual depletion of lean body mass. Gastrointestinal cancer is a little more difficult to diagnose, requiring more advanced diagnostics such as abdominal ultrasound, endoscopy or surgery. As cats live increasingly longer lives and receive attentive health care, this weight loss is more frequently recognized. Proc Nutr Soc ; FEN Learning is part of Sandbox Networks, a digital learning company that operates education services and products for the 21st century. Diabetes is treatable with diet and insulin.

What Are Some Causes of Cat Weight Loss for Sewell, NJ Pet Owners?

GI issues can contribute to weight loss in your cat, and the symptoms can vary from vomiting to diarrhea. Age-related changes in nutrient utilization by companion animals. Published: January 1, Figure 7. Since senior cats often have concurrent problems, all potential associated diseases should be considered.

With regard to older cats in general, there is some evidence that diet can play a role in maintaining body weight and fat mass - and prolonging life. In the same cat, an intraoral bisecting wuy dental radiograph of the left maxilla shows an unsuspected extensive tooth resorption at the cementoenamel junction of the distal left maxillary canine tooth a. Protein-losing enteropathy commonly co-exists with high fecal fat output in geriatric cats with idiopathic malabsorption and persists following correction of subnormal serum cobalamin concentration. Even when the most attentive owners provide the best veterinary care for their cats, a substantial proportion of senior cats will experience weight loss, despite being in otherwise good health and exhibiting no detectable change in food intake. Featured Image: iStock. Age-related changes in nutrient utilization by companion animals.

Intestinal Parasites Intestinal parasites are very common why old cats lose weight cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated. Cats over 8 years old are at risk for hyperthyroidism. Submit A Story. Not Getting Enough Food Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think. Whats going on? Williams recommends a low-carbohydrate diet initially. If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis.

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Changes in diet can help some older cats retain normal body kld, though, so speak why old cats lose weight your vet if your cat is losing weight. If low serum cobalamin, folate or tocopherol were detected, supplementation with vitamin E and other antioxidants may be beneficial. Call Now Button. Other causes may be related to food allergies or certain GI infections. If your cat has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, you and your veterinarian will go over several treatments options and possible dietary changes.

  • Many affected cats show few if any signs that may be considered suggestive of pancreatitis e.

  • Intestinal cancer in felines may cause a form of IBD to develop.

  • Read more.

  • If you notice a change in lose weight cat's behavior, eating habits, or if he is xats problems going to the bathroom, or other daily behaviors, make sure that you get him to the vet. The mechanical characteristics of IBD have been identified lining of the intestines becomes infiltrated by inflammatory cells while the exact cause of the disease itself is not yet known.

He eats as much as he likes, but he still seems to be losing weight. Gastrointestinal cancer has to be considered in an older cat. While the wwhy of the decreases remains unclear, the changes are quite marked in some individuals and in particular can be dramatic with regard to fat digestibility. It is important to recognize that many cats show only subtle changes in stool characteristics slightly larger volumes of stool with a more clay-like consistency but not frank diarrhea, even when steatorrhea is marked. Age also brings changes in the skin, making it thinner, dryer, and less elastic and, therefore, more prone to injury and infection and slower to heal. A presumptive diagnosis of idiopathic enteropathy is the best that can be achieved. See why cats go crazy over nepeta cataria and find the

  • You may want to consider installing ramps to perches that your cat enjoys.

  • Nutrient digestibility The cause or causes of this decline in nutrient digestibility remain unknown but presumably reflect enteropathy of some type. After 12 years of age, there is marked decline in body weight among cats, which supplants obesity as a common life-threatening condition.

  • Fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentration was increased in 11 of 15 geriatric cats with idiopathic chronic enteropathy, indicating active protein-losing enteropathy in addition to the previously recognized nutrient malabsorption.

  • Unintentional weight loss is a nonspecific sign that can have many causes.

Untreated hyperthyroidism is a very serious condition, and can be life-threatening. Let's look at some of the common changes that occur why old cats lose weight aging cats, and then see what we can do to keep our geriatric kitties healthy and happy. Many affected cats show few if any signs that may be considered suggestive of pancreatitis e. The body acts as if it is starving, despite a normal appetite. If she's too sore, she'll tell you. The cause or causes of this decline in nutrient digestibility remain unknown but presumably reflect enteropathy of some type.

Arthritis is characterized by the thinning of cartilage between joints. If your cat's coat changes suddenly or significantly, she should see her vet to rule out disease. GI issues can contribute to weight loss in your cat, and the symptoms can vary from vomiting to diarrhea. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland in the neck produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. You may want to consider installing ramps to perches that your cat enjoys.

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Indeed, the maintenance cars requirement of older cats may increase rather than decrease. If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis. Figure 8. The effect of dietary changes has to be evaluated on an individual trial-and-error basis, which can be difficult if gradual weight loss is the only clinical sign to evaluate. Categorised in: weight loss.

  • Healthy at Home: A Guide for Pet Parents As you focus on the things that matter most, here are tips and tricks for how to make the time

  • These terms can be applied loosely, and thus may vary slightly in definition. Not Getting Enough Food Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think.

  • If there is no apparent response to dietary change after two to four weeks, an alternative diet should be tried. For the most up to date hospital announcements please visit our news link and call us at if you have any questions.

  • Senior care guidelines. Feline Cancer Many different forms of cancer can cause weight loss.

  • Diabetes is very common in cats and will require immediate veterinary care and ongoing treatment. Dog Spinal Surgery.

  • It may be a sign of a developing heath problem, or the progression of a pre-existing condition if your cat begins to lose weight.

In the future, why old cats lose weight of enteric inflammatory markers such as fecal calprotectin may prove useful in confirming the presence of enteric disease, but the relationship of inflammation to this enteropathy is currently uncertain. Some medications are lethal for cats even in small doses. Love is good medicine, too. View all in be generous. Like their human counterparts, many cats show their advancing age in their hair. Dietary changes and supplements would certainly be the safest and most easily administered interventions.

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After 12 years of age, there is marked decline in body weight catts cats, which supplants obesity as a common life-threatening condition. The significance of these pancreatic abnormalities is not clear. Weight loss in the elderly cat. Figure 6. Unintentional weight loss in cats can be a cause for concern. Tweet Like Share Email. Dog Tumor Removal.

Once identified, most health problems can be treated or cured. J Feline Med Whu ;11 9 Whatever the explanation for weight loss weight decline in nutrient digestibility in older cats, progressive decline in body weight has been reported in the two years before death from a variety of seemingly unrelated diseases. The left mandibular 3rd premolar is missing, leaving focal residual inflammation d. Dietary changes and supplements would certainly be the safest and most easily administered interventions. J Small Anim Pract ;52 2

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Protein-losing enteropathy commonly co-exists with high fecal fat output in geriatric cats with idiopathic malabsorption and persists following correction of subnormal serum cobalamin concentration. Constipation can signal serious disease, so if your cat isn't eliminating properly for more than a day or so, see your vet. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland in the neck produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. The veterinary world is now beginning to recognize just how common arthritis is in older cats, which is wonderful news, as treatment can bring immense relief to silently suffering felines. This can be a tricky question to answer, because each cat has its own unique set of factors that contribute to the answer.

Change in grooming habits — you may notice a matted coat, reduced time spent grooming, or excessive licking of their joints. Weight loss in the elderly cat. While the cause of the decreases remains unclear, the changes are quite marked in some individuals and in particular can be dramatic with regard to fat digestibility. Our News.

Hyperthyroid cats are essentially in a state of starvation despite eating well, whj as as result, increasing food intake by itself will not solve the issue. Small focal areas of inflammation are apparent on the left maxillary 3rd premolar b and the left mandibular 4th premolar c. When specific abnormalities such as hypocobalaminemia are identified, they should be rectified. Gastrointestinal GI Problems GI issues can contribute to weight loss in your cat, and the symptoms can vary from vomiting to diarrhea.

Williams recommends a low-carbohydrate diet initially. After 12 years of weiht, there is marked decline in body why old cats lose weight among cats, which supplants obesity as a common life-threatening condition. Intestinal cancer in felines may cause a form of IBD to develop. Only when these are also appropriately treated do the cats return to optimal health. Percentage of cats with low protein digestibility by age pooled data from four colonies.

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In this weight, I will review what is loee about common age-related changes and what may be done to halt or reverse the decline in body weight that is apparently a predictable prelude to death. Figure 4. In the future, assay of enteric inflammatory markers such as fecal calprotectin may prove useful in confirming the presence of enteric disease, but the relationship of inflammation to this enteropathy is currently uncertain. Dental disease can contribute to weight loss in senior cats.

  • Vet J ; 2 Antibiotic treatment with metronidazole or tylosin is often impractical in cats, so when aggressive treatment is needed glucocorticoid therapy with prednisolone is recommended.

  • Cats tend to become more finicky about what they eat as they age, and it may become much harder to please their pallet.

  • Only when these are also appropriately treated do the cats return to optimal health. As the kidneys progressively lose their ability to function, harmful toxins begin to accumulate in the bloodstream.

  • Most are readily suspected and confirmed based on physical examination and routine laboratory testing. Age-related changes in nutrient utilization by companion animals.

  • Tips for managing diabetes in dogs and cats.

J Vet Intern Med ; As he ages, your cat might wright stiff and sore and become reluctant to move around. Well-recognized causes of weight loss why old cats lose weight old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease IBDexocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an overproduction of thyroid hormones because of an enlarged thyroid gland usually due to a non-cancerous tumor. Percentage of cats with low protein digestibility by age pooled data from four colonies.

Sponsored by Purina Veterinary Diets. Vet Info search. Age-related changes in nutrient utilization by companion animals. Thorough physical examination, routine complete lose weight count, serum chemistry profile, losee, and fecal examination are all indicated, as are radiographic and ultrasonographic evaluations as appropriate. Recent studies have revealed associations between changes in the intestinal microbiome and many of the above-mentioned abnormalities. As many of the observations about digestive disturbances in elderly cats are relatively new, appropriate clinical studies evaluating treatment interventions have not been performed. Not Getting Enough Food Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think.

Some cats, especially those who have suffered joint aeight when younger, develop arthritis, which can be mild or debilitating. As your cat ages, you can expect a number of behavioral and physical changes to occur. Love is good medicine, too. If you think your cat is suffering from GI issues, consult with your veterinarian about getting a diagnosis and treatment.

Senior cats also tend to lose muscle mass and tone, making movement more difficult and leading to even more muscle loss. None of the tests for this enteropathy is perfect, so if no other explanation for the weight loss can be found a presumptive diagnosis of ICE is reasonable. Even when the most attentive owners provide the best veterinary care for their cats, a substantial proportion of senior cats will experience weight loss, despite being in otherwise good health and exhibiting no detectable change in food intake. Your older cat's coat might also benefit from more frequent grooming see Keeping Up with Your Cat's Hygiene. This is why cats will eat more but lose weight — their body is struggling to find the energy it needs to power its biological functions. If your cat has been diagnosed with GI issues or IBD, your veterinarian may prescribe a special diet, and oral medications to help increase the absorption of nutrients and restore your cat to a healthy weight. Up Next Keeping Assassin Snails BeChewy explores the details of keeping Assassin Snails as pets, from feeding and breeding to the kind of care they require.

As your cat ages, you can expect a number of behavioral and physical changes to occur. Kidney disease, or renal insufficiency, becomes more common as cats age, and symptoms include weight loss and increased drinking and urination. Find information on buying and caring for a cat. Senior care guidelines.

View all in be inspired. Similarly, moderate increases or decreases in food or water intake will probably go unnoticed by most owners. A cautious, conservative approach is warranted.

Reviewed and updated for accuracy on November 8, by Dr. A regiment of specially prescribed food, medication and fluids ahy be necessary to help care for your sick cat. If a diagnosis is made, management and treatment will be based on the symptoms your cat is showing. Sponsored by Purina Veterinary Diets. It is important to recognize that many cats show only subtle changes in stool characteristics slightly larger volumes of stool with a more clay-like consistency but not frank diarrhea, even when steatorrhea is marked. Dog Spinal Surgery. Once identified, most health problems can be treated or cured.

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Symptoms Excessive thirst Excessive urination Weight loss Decreased appetite Lethargy Vomiting Diabetes Diabetes is common in older cats, and is especially common in overweight felines. Cancer Cancer is a leading cause of death in older cats. These conditions require medical attention kin order to reduce the likelihood of blindness, stroke, heart failure, and death. Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease IBDexocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems. Some medications are lethal for cats even in small doses. Fecal alpha1-proteinase inhibitor concentration was increased in 11 of 15 geriatric cats with idiopathic chronic enteropathy, indicating active protein-losing enteropathy in addition to the previously recognized nutrient malabsorption.

Hyperthyroidism is usually easily diagnosed with a simple blood test, and is very treatable. With regard wsight older cats in general, there is some evidence that diet can play a role in maintaining body weight and fat mass - and prolonging life. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical, blood work, a urinalysis and other diagnostic tests. In this article, I will review what is known about common age-related changes and what may be done to halt or reverse the decline in body weight that is apparently a predictable prelude to death. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. About the Author: Southwest Vet Austin. If you notice that your cat is still eating well, but losing weight, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, as these symptoms may have an underlying medical cause.

  • J Small Anim Pract ;52 2 This is a condition in which the thyroid gland in the neck produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

  • Since senior cats often have concurrent problems, all potential associated diseases should be considered. If the condition persists for long enough, the cat may loose a significant amount of weight due to the body's inability to properly process both food and water through it's system.

  • If low serum cobalamin, folate or tocopherol were detected, supplementation with vitamin E and other antioxidants may be beneficial.

  • Read more.

The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located in the throat. Not Getting Enough Food Sometimes, your cat is eating less than you think. Some nutritional aspects of aging cats and dogs. All rights reserved.

What to do Early Detection The symptoms of the health conditions in this article are often subtle and difficult to notice. Hyperthyroidism is a condition that can result from a tumor on the thyroid gland, or an overactive thyroid which elevates levels of thyroid hormone. Decline in body weight is common in cats that are older than 11 years. Subtle weight loss may not even be noted unless careful records of body weight and body condition scores are kept over repeated veterinary examinations.

Weight loss in the elderly cat. Diabetes is very common in cats and will require immediate veterinary care and ongoing treatment. Cats tend to become more finicky about what they eat as they age, and it may become much harder to please their pallet.

  • Early diagnosis and treatment might control problems while they're small and prolong your cat's quality of life. This is a condition in which the thyroid gland in the neck produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

  • Annu Rev Nutr ; Having a general understanding of your cat's relative age is of great importance so that you maybe able to provide the proper care and nutrition for each stage of life.

  • As your cat ages, you can expect a number of behavioral and physical changes to occur.

  • Since senior cats often have concurrent problems, all potential associated diseases should be considered. What is known about common age-related changes in cats and what may be done to halt or reverse the decline in body weight that is apparently a predictable prelude to death.

  • Untreated hyperthyroidism is a very serious condition, and can be life-threatening. Also, hyperthyroid cats can present with increased drinking and urination, increased vocalization and activity, diarrhea, vomiting, and gradual muscle wasting.

Intestinal Parasites Intestinal parasites are very common in cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated. Dietary changes and supplements would certainly be the safest and most easily administered interventions. The diagnosis and treatment plan will vary depending on the kind and stage of cancer suspected. Only when these are also appropriately treated do the cats return to optimal health. If your vet suspects diabetes, they will likely take blood and urine samples to confirm the diagnosis. The shaded areas represent normal reference ranges.

  • J Vet Intern Med ; Hyperthyroid cats are essentially in a state of starvation despite eating well, so as as result, increasing food intake by itself will not solve the issue.

  • When specific abnormalities such as hypocobalaminemia are identified, they should be rectified.

  • However, in many cases aging cats lose weight without evidence of organic disease using readily available standard diagnostic methods. Kidney disease, or renal insufficiency, becomes more common as cats age, and symptoms include weight loss and increased drinking and urination.

  • It has been recognized for many years that both protein and fat digestibility decrease in many apparently normal cats after 10 years of age. Nutrient digestibility The cause or causes of this decline in nutrient digestibility remain unknown but presumably reflect enteropathy of some type.

  • Treatment In some cats, despite a thorough investigation, it is not possible to confirm enteropathy.

  • Even histologic examination of intestinal biopsy specimens may not provide evidence of a conclusive diagnosis; lesions may be patchy and interpretation of biopsy findings is inherently subjective. It has been recognized for many years that both protein and fat digestibility decrease in many apparently normal cats after 10 years of age.

If there is no apparent response to dietary change lose weight two to four weeks, an alternative diet should be tried. Skinny old cats cafs Why some senior cats lose weight. Evidence indicates that, in these older cats with no apparent classic diseases to explain the weight loss, there is an age-related decline in food digestibility. Well-recognized causes of weight loss in old cats include chronic renal disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease IBDexocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and dental problems.

A cat between the ages of 7 and 10 years is considered middle aged. IBD includes a group of different chronic gastrointestinal disorders. Pancreatic pathology is also present in a high proportion of geriatric cats with idiopathic chronic enteropathy, as reflected in increased serum concentrations of trypsin-like immmunoreactivity fTLI and pancreatic lipase fPL. If you notice that your cat is losing weight, you need to call the vet. Many different forms of cancer can cause weight loss. If you notice a change in your cat's behavior, eating habits, or if he is having problems going to the bathroom, or other daily behaviors, make sure that you get him to the vet. Intestinal parasites are very common in cats and can lead to weight loss if left untreated.

Most are readily suspected and confirmed based on physical examination and routine laboratory testing. Serum cobalamin and folate concentrations in cats with hyperthyroidism. Protein-losing enteropathy commonly co-exists with high fecal fat output in geriatric cats with idiopathic malabsorption and persists following correction of subnormal serum cobalamin concentration. Determination of fecal fat by percentage would be desirable and may be the only way to confirm an intestinal problem in some patients. IBD includes a group of different chronic gastrointestinal disorders.

  • If low serum cobalamin, folate or tocopherol were detected, supplementation with vitamin E and other antioxidants may be beneficial. A physical exam, blood cell count, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal parasite testing should be evaluated when dealing with a case of senior cat weight loss.

  • The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ that is located in the throat.

  • Kidney disease is a progressive disorder, meaning it usually takes months or years to advance to its final stages. If that's the case, just pet her gently and talk to her.

Chronic enteric protein loss can contribute to gradual depletion of lean body mass. Investigations are ongoing, and Dr. Overall, while obesity tends to be the predominant body-mass concern in cats between 7 and 12 years of age, in those older than 12 years, obesity is rare and being underweight is a far greater life-threatening risk factor Table 1 and Figure 6. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical, blood work, a urinalysis and other diagnostic tests. Similarly, moderate increases or decreases in food or water intake will probably go unnoticed by most owners. We have a year-old cat that has been losing weight for a few weeks now.

J Small Anim Pract ;52 2 Your vet will guide you in choosing the best treatment. Categorised in: weight loss. Adjusting the fat content of the diet does not appear to be particularly useful in treating feline enteropathies. If low serum cobalamin, folate or tocopherol were detected, supplementation with vitamin E and other antioxidants may be beneficial. Reviewed and updated for accuracy on November 8, by Dr. Proc Nutr Soc ;

The mechanical characteristics of IBD have been identified lining of the intestines becomes infiltrated by inflammatory cells while the exact cause of the disease itself is not yet known. Many different forms of cancer can cause weight loss. The decline in intestinal function and associated weight loss begins as soon as 8 years of age in some cats.

You may suspect that your cat is eating more than normally, but still continues to lose weight. Your veterinarian weiight do a blood test to assess thyroid function, and prescribe thyroid medication and other treatment options if needed. If you notice that your cat is still eating well, but losing weight, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, as these symptoms may have an underlying medical cause. Currently you have JavaScript disabled.

Go to Top. If weighg suspect that your cat has intestinal parasites, contact your veterinarian. Change in grooming habits — you may notice a matted coat, reduced time spent grooming, or excessive licking of their joints. Figure 8. As he ages, your cat might get stiff and sore and become reluctant to move around.

Weiyht has been recognized for many years that both protein and fat digestibility decrease in many apparently normal cats after 10 years of age. A physical exam, blood cell count, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal parasite testing should be evaluated when dealing with ehy case of senior cat weight loss. What is known about common age-related changes in cats and what may be done to halt or reverse the decline in body weight that is apparently a predictable prelude to death. Overweight cats are more prone to serious health conditions, and on average have a shorter lifespan than cats at a healthy weight. The effect of dietary changes has to be evaluated on an individual trial-and-error basis, which can be difficult if gradual weight loss is the only clinical sign to evaluate. Dental disease can contribute to weight loss in senior cats. Gentle games will help him stay in shape and alert and also reinforce the bond between the two of you.

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